The Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently announced 56 new awards for innovative industrial research and development projects under the agency's Advanced Technology Program (ATP). Projects include a broad range of technologies, including manufacturing, semiconductor electronics, medical diagnostic techniques, alternative energy sources, transportation, nanotechnology, and energy conservation, among others.

A total of 69 companies and one non-profit organization will participate in the projects, which include nine joint ventures. The new awards potentially represent a total of up to $138.7 million in ATP funding together with an industry cost-share of up to $104 million, if all projects are completed. Awards are made contingent on available funding and on evidence of progress throughout the multi-year research schedules.

Projects were chosen in a competition announced last April and represent the last set of R&D projects to be funded under the ATP, which was abolished under the America COMPETES Act. The act allows for continued support for ongoing ATP projects, including those chosen in the fiscal year 2007 competition. Projects were selected for funding by a competitive, peerreviewed process that evaluated the scientific and technical merit of each proposal and the potential for broad-based benefits to the nation if the technology were successfully developed. For more information on the awards, visit nist.gov.